The Same Deep Water As You
by Solo & Jo
chapter(s) | Story notes, disclaimers, warnings]
Saturday 04 October
It's six, and Jin's back at the club, and he hasn't thought about
Kamenashi all day except to congratulate himself on not thinking about
Kamenashi. On the amount of money he made. On getting Yuuya away from
the crazy. On keeping it together, more or less. On getting out of
there. Many things to be pleased about, and dwelling on the rest just
makes no sense.
He slept well last night, too, didn't dream of the playground. That
means all the stuff that almost happened didn't fuck him up, he's
He woke just after nine, jogged to the conbini with Jaejoong to get
ume onigiri and two eggs for breakfast, stayed for workout in the empty
gym, waved goodbye to Junno and wished him luck again, and then went
Treated himself to sea urchin sushi for lunch, then spent a few
hours in the local library looking at magazines and newspapers. He also
took home a couple of their outdated books on how apprenticeships work.
It's way too early to get serious, but it'll help to know what's out
there, to have some concrete things to think about.
He's felt fine all day, and the only weirdness has been realizing it every half hour or so with a little twist of surprise.
When he gets to the club, Takahisa is in the break room, chewing on
an almond bar while he puts the final styling touches to his hair;
maybe back from an assignment, maybe just in late, too.
"You missed the drug test, you lucky bastard," he says to Jin, his lips spreading in a wide congratulatory grin.
Jin taps the side of his nose. "Instinct," he says, and finds a
satisfied smile, though he couldn't care less. The tests are random but
frequent; anybody who happens to be in the break room and gym gets
handed a tube, no big deal. It's just considered good form to whine.
Not that these guys would even want to do drugs. Not that class of
The STD test is more regular, once a month, with a white-coated
doctor and formal appointments up to two hours before opening time.
Nobody missed out, there, ever; even Kimura-senpai comes in for it.
Jin likes knowing that, likes the sense that there are no
compromises on safety, even though he knows it's concern for the
clients, not them, it's not like escorts expect to fuck each other or—
he stops the thought.
Gets changed without thinking much more.
When he steps out of the elevator and around the screen, there's
Kamenashi and it stops him dead, and then everything goes cold because…
Yuu-chan. Talking to Kamenashi.
No, Kamenashi talking to Yuu-chan. He's not given up. Has he really not given up?
It's a big lounge even though it's still half empty, and they're at
the far end near the concierge where you book rooms, and Jin doesn't
know what he'll do anyway, but by the time he's halfway there,
Kamenashi is stepping back and bowing and Yuuya bows back and makes
some gesture of denial, and what is this?
Kamenashi says a few words, stares into space, into— across the
lounge, and his eyes settle on Jin. There's a still moment where it
seems like space and air have been sucked away between them, like he
can hear Kamenashi breathe right next to him… and then
Kamenashi turns back to Yuuya, says something else. And then, with a
final, smaller bow, Kamenashi turns and takes the remaining step to the
concierge desk, and Jin's breath is just about to stop when Yuuya walks
away. Back into the lounge, away from Kamenashi, away from where
bookings are made.
Jin changes course, tries to keep an eye on Kamenashi while catching
up with Yuuya. The concierge is bowing, then gesturing for one of the
attendants. Yuuya is approaching a seating group.
"Yuuya." By now he's close enough that he doesn't have to shout.
Yuuya stops and turns toward him. Smiles. "Jin-senpai! How are you?"
"Fine," Jin says. "What did Kamenashi want? You turned him down?"
Now they're both looking after the man as he vanishes round the screens. No two guesses where he's going.
"He didn't want to book me," Yuuya says.
Now there's a blessing. Though Yuuya sounds puzzled rather than relieved.
"In fact," he is saying, "he apologized for booking me last night.
And then he apologized for sending me away. He seemed kind of confused
what to apologize for, really."
"There's a new one," Jin says, vaguely, because his brain is still struggling to digest the new concept.
"He said it was awkward and he didn't handle it well and he's sorry
he made me feel uncomfortable. He's going to see Ootomo to tell him it
wasn't my fault."
Right. Someone belatedly sent him the script for Mr Nice, and he
managed to learn the lines. Not like Jin hasn't seen him make that
"You're not going to trust him, right?" he says.
Yuuya is looking towards the screens thoughtfully. "If he means it
about not wanting me, I won't have to. If not, I'll know he can't be
trusted. Either way," he concludes, turning back to Jin, "no need to
worry." He seems confident with his assessment. "It's a shame you were
late and he didn't get a chance to speak to you."
"He saw me," Jin says, no more.
But Yuuya gets it at last. "Oh."
Jin would have preferred him to be on his guard on his own account,
but he'll take anything, as long as Yuuya is no longer tempted to take
Kamenashi's acts at face value.
"Don't worry about it," he says. "I won't worry about it. Just don't go thinking he's a nice guy now."
"I won't," Yuu-chan reassures him, big-eyed and solemn now and god,
he looks all of fifteen. "I'll be careful."Jin nods. Okay, that's
something. "You were going…" He motions with his head.
"Yeah, I better make a move. I was with these guys when Kamenashi
dragged me away, and Koyama-sensei has just stopped blushing whenever I
say something to him." Yuuya produces a big smile and waves at the
history professor enthusiastically. Jin offers a respectful bow in his
direction, and adds one for Kato-sensei.
"Go on then. Yamatani-san should be here soon, too."
A straightforward evening, easy chat with a genuine nice guy; an unproblematic comfort after, one that's like sex between two people, not like… whatever.
He'll take a relaxation later if one falls in his lap, but for once
there's no sense of urgency. Maybe that's what it feels like when
you're established and popular, when you don't have to take everything
that comes in the door.
And he doesn't even have to dream up some way of hitting the right
mix between appealing and unavailable for the next ten minutes because
here is Yamatani. He greets the concierge with a nod as the door is
closed discreetly behind him, turns to search the lounge floor and
He smiles, and Jin smiles back.
"The small red group is still free," Jin says when they've met up
just past the dining area, indicating Yamatani's usual corner. "Or
would you like to sit somewhere else?"
They rarely go upstairs straight away because Yamatani likes a first
drink in the lounge, likes making it more than just fucking.
"That will be just fine," Yamatani says.
He stops briefly on their way there to exchange a few words and a
slip of paper with Koyama, whose hand is on Yuuya's thigh by now, with
Yuuya's hand on top to keep it there.
Then they settle in the corner with a brandy for Yamatani and a
small beer for Jin, and Jin starts to relax while Yamatani tells him
what he's been doing since Wednesday. Jin is constantly amazed at how
busy a pensioner can be.
Jin doesn't have much to tell. He won't talk about Thursday nights
at Tomo's bar, not even with Yamatani. He can't talk about last night.
He doesn't want to mention the library visit because letting your
client know that you can't wait to get out of the job isn't good form,
As always, he thinks he ought to read some good books so he'll be
able to talk about them. As always, he knows as he thinks it that he
Yamatani is telling him about a new conservatory he's having built
in his country house and using the mini ashtray, his lighter and the
silver coaster to demonstrate the layout. He's just asked to borrow
Jin's lighter, too, when Yaguchi-san from the concierge desk approaches
and bows deeply.
"Please, Yamatani-sama, if it's not inconvenient, may I borrow Jin for a short while?"
They both look up, but Yaguchi is only looking at Yamatani, who seems curious but, as always, patient at the interruption.
"He'll be back in fifteen minutes," Yaguchi adds. "If we may offer you a drink and some snacks on the house in the meantime?"
"Please," Yamatani says, giving Jin a smile, "go ahead. I'll be waiting for you."
When Kamenashi sailed up there, when Yuuya told him what had been
said, he'd been able to discount it, to tell himself that Yuuya was all
it was about, there was no reason to involve Jin, this wasn't about Jin.
But of course, with Kamenashi, it's always about Jin.
"Kamenashi-sama came to see me earlier," Ootomo says, barricaded
behind his desk and a pile of tastefully leather-bound folders. It's
freezing in his office as always during opening hours, when Ootomo has
to wear the suit in case clients – like Kamenashi – come to see him to
complain about whores.
Jin bows, and that seems to be all the answer Ootomo expects before he continues.
"He came to explain that a comfort appointment last night for which
he had engaged Yuuya-san and yourself had not quite worked out." He's
tapping his pen on top of a burgundy binder.
Jin bows again. Says nothing. There's nothing to say, and if Kamenashi blamed him for his precious gang rape cosplay coming off the rails… well. He'd be right.
"And to insist that neither Yuuya-san nor yourself were at fault for
the discontinued double comfort," Ootomo says, and Jin bows again and—
Stops. It's sinking in.
Kamenashi did what?
When Jin raises his head he knows better than to show surprise,
wouldn't want Ootomo to know he was expecting trouble because Ootomo
would want to know why.
"He also," Ootomo continues slowly, "insisted on paying the full
comfort fee for Yuuya-san, even though I understand that he sent Yuuya
away and commuted your part in the appointment into a rest." The pen
taps, tap-tap, tap. Ootomo is studying him.
Jin bows again.
"What is going on?" Ootomo asks.
To that, Jin has a straightforward answer. "I don't know."
Ootomo studies him some more. Thinks; seems to come to some decision, and he leans back in his chair and the tapping stops.
"Kamenashi-sama seems to think he handled the double comfort rather
badly. Or that it was a bad idea to start on that in the first place."
Better with just the two of us. Right. "It was awkward."
"Yuuya says the atmosphere was rather charged."
So they called Yuu-chan in first. Kamenashi's sure taking up a lot
of everybody's time. But least Yuu-chan will make some decent money out
of his brush with the Kamenashi experience.
"Kamenashi-sama can get a bit intense," he says blandly. No criticizing the crazy psycho client.
"Focussed on you, Yuuya thought, and quite personal. He was worried about leaving the two of you alone."
"Kamenashi-sama doesn't like me," Jin says. "I guess Yuuya noticed."
Ootomo gives him a long, critical look, and then he leans forward again and it's back, tap-tap.
"If he doesn't like you," he says at last, "why does he keep on booking you?"
Jin manages a little shrug, keeps his face blank. He can't say that
he thinks it's because Kamenashi needs a whore without management
support for his humiliation games.
Ootomo thinks for a moment. "But you didn't try to turn him down
again." Half a question, asking without asking. Right. Like Ootomo
shouldn't know the answer to that one.
"No," Jin says, and it doesn't sound as flat as he thought it would. He doesn't try to add anything.
Ootomo's eyes are narrow, guarded. "Jin." He puts the pen down, flat
on the folder. Folds his hands on the desk. "I know I brushed you off
that first time. Maybe that was hasty. Now Yuuya seems concerned, too,
and things are getting strange and I don't like that. If there's
anything I should know, tell me."
What's to tell? This time it's not even tangible, not like belts and
totally dandy Ootomo-approved bondage. Jin's issues don't matter to
Ootomo; they all have sob stories here.
"I don't know what's going on." With a guy who flips from power
trips to mellow fucking and from insults to wanting conversation, until
the next time… it's never just one type of crazy. "He's kind of
"Yuuya said he seemed pleasant in the lounge previously."
Jin shrugs again. That's what unstable means. He wasn't too bad late
last night, either, not that Jin had been in a position to appreciate
it. "Stuff sets him off, I guess."
Ootomo looks slightly pained, as though he's used to greater eloquence. Probably is. "What kind of 'stuff'?"
"Search me. I never know." And just when he thinks he does, it
doesn't work that way; when he thinks he's in trouble he's not, and he
has no idea why.
"And then what does he do?"
Kamenashi close, hot, relentless, making him ask for things he doesn't want…
He's been okay, all day. Now, when he concentrates, he can feel
Kamenashi's fingers twisting inside him, hear that insistent, knowing
voice, and the air pressing in on him and Kamenashi everywhere. Why did Ootomo have to ask?
Jin takes a breath, hopes it doesn't sound weird.
"Nothing outside the rules," he says. That's what matters to Ootomo,
and that's how much he's willing to tell; for once they're on the same
page. "Not ever. You'd know about it."
"Okay," Ootomo says. Considers that, repeats it. "Okay. If he
approaches you in the lounge, I won't complain if you turn him down,
though I expect you to be polite about it. We'll consult you about
Jin's still taking it in, but he nods.
"Has he tried to tie you up again?"
"Good. Maybe he's over that. But if he tries, refuse and refer him
to me. I don't want one of our escorts involved in any unpleasantness."
Ootomo's word for 'found dead in a ditch', but for once Jin can live with the prettification.
"What about Yuuya?" he says.
"Yuuya will no doubt keep out of Kamenashi-sama's way. Given how busy he generally is, that should not be a great problem."
"But if Kamenashi asks for him—"
"Jin." Ootomo picks the pen up again. It circles once between his
fingers before it stills. "I spoke to Tatsuya-san, too. I even gave
Kimura-san a call. Neither of them have ever found Kamenashi-sama
anything but polite and considerate. Yuuya thought he was fine until
the three of you got together." He steeples his fingers, waits.
"It's me," Jin says, to a dull throb of confirmation. Not like he
didn't know, didn't guess. If Kamenashi did this with everybody, word
would have got around. He wouldn't be the regular of people like Tatsuya and Kimura-senpai.
"Like you said," Ootomo says gently. "He doesn't seem to like you."
Jin stares at Ootomo; thinks of Kamenashi meditating over a beer
bottle, of Kamenashi talking about the weather. "Then why the hell does
he keep booking me?"
It feels strange, to know that there's some protection now, that somebody is keeping an eye on him. Him and Kamenashi.
Back in the lounge, he lets Yamatani buy him a large glass of Pinot
Noir and for once he drinks it all, lets it sink in while they pick up
their chat about the conservatory and how much the cats will like it.
That he's not the only one who sees a problem here, that he's no longer
facing the crazy client all alone…
…that if there's another problem with Kamenashi, management is likely to back him.
"You look happy," Yamatani says, regarding him with friendly
interest over the rim of his own glass. "Did something good happen?"
Jin can't talk about clients, even crazy ones. But he doesn't have
to hide he's happy. "There was a thing that worried me," he says. "For
a while. But I've just found out I don't have to worry anymore."
Yamatani smiles, face wrinkling even more in delight. "That must be
such a relief. It's terrible, having to worry for a long time. And so
exhausting." For a moment he looks thoughtful, reminiscent. Then he
tilts his head and smiles again. "Would you like to cancel tonight, so
you can celebrate properly? I promise I won't feel rejected."
Jin blinks, stares at him, probably looks like an idiot. It just
hadn't occurred to him… that it would occur to anybody… when he himself
hadn't even for a moment considered it.
He smiles. "An appointment with you is the nicest celebration I'm likely to get."
He's out after two hours anyway, and that includes the fancy seafood
dinner Yamatani bought them before fucking, and the shower Jin took
afterwards. He even took the time to fix himself up again right there;
it's okay, with Yamatani, and they chatted about his daughter-in-law
and her pet pekingese while he did it. Yamatani didn't mention worries
or celebrations again. Yamatani is good with stuff like that.
Jin heads back to the break room, just to take a few minutes to
psych himself back up for the lounge. The room's almost empty, typical
for a Saturday. People really only come here for a quick breather, or
for a shower between one client and the next. He picks a bottle of tea
out of the fridge.
Tatsuya is wearing a clubbing outfit, tight and black with a few
metal glints, and is just finishing the application of subtle eyeliner.
Jun has a towel wrapped around himself, the warm scent of mandarines
coming off his skin. Masaki is dressed up and ready to go – again, Jin
suspects – and is fumbling at the clasp of the fat, ugly gold watch
he's wrapped around his wrist.
"Tamori again?" Jin says; not even a guess, because Masaki wouldn't wear the tasteless piece otherwise.
Masaki rolls his eyes in a comical way. "What can I say, it's love."
Jin snorts, and Masaki giggles.
"I might give this horrible thing to whoever wins the pool," he says. "You can sell it or something."
"Not me," Jin says, "I'm already out."
Masaki pouts. "I'm hurt, Jin. Think I can't keep my man for more than two months?"
Tamori is an outside client who is officially 'in love' with Masaki.
It happens, every so often – a client gets infatuated, showers the
escort with presents, and there are declarations of devotion and
promises of a life together until one day it's over. Just when that day
will come, they can't know, but that's what the betting pool is for.
"I'm still in," Jun says smugly, inspecting a black thong he's
pulled from his holdall to see which way round it should go. "He looks
like the angst-for-a-month kind of guy. I give him till just before
"That's a lot of flowers and jewelry," Jin considers.
"And that ghastly eau de cologne," Jun says.
"It's shirts right now," Masaki says. "Got a nice cream one the other day. Raw silk."
"If it goes on to New Year, you'll be breaking Jun's record,"
Tatsuya says with a last glance in the mirror before he tidies his
equipment away. "Jun's pride will be hurt."
"What," Jun says, "the puppy?" He adjusts himself in the flimsy
piece of underwear, then reaches for a shirt. "That was nothing to be
proud of, he'd have gone with anyone who figured out he wanted to
bottom and was too macho to say so." He sighs down his buttons at how
hard some people make their lives. "I just got him there first. He
"I thought those were ducks?" Jin tries.
Jun gives him a little grin. "Geese," he says. "Well, he's got a long neck."
"Last I heard he graduated to Hina," Masaki says, slinging the discreet club satchel over his shoulder.
"Has he?" Jun is frowning at his socks now. "Won't last. He just wants to get fucked, not lick boots."
Jin's finished his tea. The conversation isn't fascinating enough to stick around for.
He takes a last look in the mirror, makes sure he looks okay. Adds
lip gloss because he's not keen on more than a relaxation now, and
sometimes that helps give people the right idea.
At least he can be pretty sure that Kamenashi won't be around tonight.
In the lounge, he joins a seating group with a few guys he's seen
but not had before, because the only current alternative is a group
including Suzuki, who definitely likes his mouth but whom Jin prefers
not to have there. He won't turn Suzuki down, but he won't chase him
down, either, not when he isn't desperate, not after a rest, and maybe
the thirteen guys he won't have to blow can all be Suzuki. By now, he can even smile about that.
He introduces himself to the client who isn't currently making
intrigued eyes at Danny or giggling with Satoshi, and then it's the
usual conversational gambits: does he come here often and how does he
like it, and Jin gets bought a drink, and then he learns a lot about
Somewhere between ecosystems, nests and spawning tanks, he notices
Sakurai at the bar and his stomach does a little dip. And then he's
Because he shouldn't have to feel like that and that's a chance that
didn't have to be wasted, Sakurai was a decent guy, and Kamenashi…
didn't have that much to do with it, really. Jin blew that
chance. And it's not like he doesn't know why, and he didn't have it
together then, but that doesn't make it less annoying.
He nods on autopilot when his prospective client's tone seems to
require it, and adds something about how guppies have pretty tails.
Maybe he should just go talk to Sakurai again. To prove he won't let
Kamenashi get to him in that way and he's been fine today, he's got it
And weirdly, it seems like it would be easy just to go up to the man
and find some excuse and make it properly… and Jin stops to wonder what
else will seem easy now.
When there's a break in the talk of yolk sacs and infusoria, he
excuses himself, says, "Just for three minutes, there is something I
need to clear up." He even manages a vaguely smouldering look. "I
promise I will be back."
He doesn't give himself much time to think as he approaches Sakurai,
who's still alone, waiting for company or enjoying the quiet; Jin only
slows down a few paces from the man's barstool so it doesn't look like
he's descending on him, and waits at a respectful distance until he
gets noticed. It doesn't take long.
He bows. "Sakurai-san, may I have a very quick word?"
Sakurai, attractive in stylish slacks and a dark green shirt, looks good-naturedly curious and nods at the seat next to his.
Jin slides onto it. "I don't have long, I'm supposed to be over
there—" He gestures subtly. "— but I saw you and I wanted to explain my
strange behaviour the other night."
Sakurai nods, with a reserved sort of interest. "You seemed a little confused all of a sudden."
"Yes," Jin says. "I had a headache all night and I'd taken something
during the break, but the effect suddenly faded and the lights got too
much and I couldn't think. It happened very suddenly. It was stupid of
me to come back into the lounge after my break, and I apologize for
"It's not a problem," Sakurai says. "I was just a bit puzzled. I didn't take offense."
"Thank you." Jin rises; he shouldn't keep Mr Fish waiting. "I'm
really glad to hear that. I hope you have a nice evening." He bows
"Don't go getting any more headaches," Sakurai says with a smile.
Jin smiles back. "I'll try not to."
No more belts and ties. And he can turn the asshole down. Management is backing him. He thinks the headache stage is over.
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